Monday, July 26, 2010

Brumskine: Liberians Should be Allowed to Look to a Better Future

07/28/2010 - 163rd INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY MESSAGE By Charles Walker Brumskine

Source: Frontpage Africa

On behalf of Liberty Party, and Mrs. Brumskine and myself, I wish the people of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and officials of her Government, the Speaker, President Pro Tempore and Members of the Legislature, the Chief Justice, Associate Justices, and Members of the Judiciary, a Happy July 26.

This is that time of the year when all Liberians should come together to celebrate the independence anniversary of our nation. A time when we, the government and opposition political parties, realize that it takes the collective effort of all to build our nation, committing ourselves to never again allow the all-powerful presidency and a one-party state, ensuring that the opposition remains strong, but also faithful to the Constitution of Liberia. There is no better time for all of us to awaken to the fact that we are in this boat together.

With the invaluable assistance of our friends and development partners of the international community, the Sirleaf Government marks the celebration of Liberia’s 163rd Independence Anniversary with the dedication of public projects such as buildings on the Fendell Campus of the University of Liberia and Liberia’s largest hospital in Tapita, Nimba County, among others. We join the government and people of Liberia in thanking the Chinese Government for their investment in the infrastructure of Liberia.

But as we celebrate our independence, we are continuously reminded that the salient question that Liberia is yet to address is, “Are we making progress toward sustaining the peace?” We have to reconcile our people, reform our institutions and the way we “do business”, and recover some of our national values that have been lost over the years. We must grow our economy in a way that empowers the people of Liberia, creating wealth instead of simply striving to reduce poverty.

Liberians should be allowed to look to a better future, where the infrastructure we build and rebuild today would not again be destroyed tomorrow. We must celebrate not only the number of years of our existence, but also our hope of a different and better tomorrow. As sad as our past may have been, especially our recent history, I still believe in Liberia, knowing that together we can do better. I, therefore, ask that all Liberians commit anew to the founding ideals of our country—establishing justice, ensuring domestic peace, and promoting the general welfare of all Liberians.

We can ill-afford to again evolve a society premised upon exclusion, cronyism, and injustice, accentuated by the divide between the haves and haves-not. Liberia cannot continue to celebrate the ills of the past—corruption in high places and indifference to the plight of other Liberians.

For example, while the government is celebrating the anniversary of the birth of our nation, Commissioners of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) must miss out on the celebration because the government has refused to pay their salaries and benefits, which are long overdue. Teachers have been constrained to stage a peaceful demonstration in demand of their salaries, hoping that their families would also be able to join in the celebration. How many more Liberians will not be celebrating this July 26, because the government does not like what they have said, or because, as the teachers, they are not on government’s priority list?

It has been said that, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.”

Certainly, we can build a better nation, as we renew the aspirations of every man and woman, boy and girl. But all we do depends on Liberians being reconciled. And national reconciliation cannot be attained without justice. Reconciliation follows justice, and precedes lasting peace!

We, therefore, celebrate with those Liberians who insist that we begin our 164th year of existence with a resolve to embrace those principles that will ensure justice, reconciliation, national healing, and lasting peace.

May God bless the Republic and save the people. I thank you!

Charles W. Brumskine, Esq.

News Headline

Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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